Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The first installment of American Horror Story: Hotel is the best American Horror Story season premiere since the show’s very first episode—which speaks to the quality of both “Checking In” and AHS as a whole. But even the best hours of this show aren’t without the characteristics that mark them as a product of über-producer Ryan Murphy, and “Checking In” produced multiple instances of the show at its most in-your-face, its most baldly provocative, its most shock-for-shock’s sake. Or, if you prefer, its “Murphiest.” TV editor Erik Adams and assistant editor Becca James mix their praise for the episode with their picks for its Murphiest Moment—though they left out one particular Murphy moment that Emily L. Stephen covers in graphic detail in her review of “Checking In.”

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